An Icon Continues to Please
by Jody Steele
The Raw Bar has been at Ocean Reef for quite a long time. The original structure was located near the Nature Center in the 70’s, but then was moved to its present location. It was a small structure that included a screened in area and an outdoor spot with six tables where everyone ordered from a counter. Barry Reed, handson Director/Manager/Cook, remembers it well. He has been at the Raw Bar for an amazing 30 years and vividly recalls Hurricane Andrew completely demolishing the structure followed by a great rebuild. Since then this comfortable screened in space has become a gathering place for Members.
Barry is extremely proud of his team. Most of the staff has been at the Raw Bar for at least 10 years, with some at the 15 and 20 year mark. Barry considers the team a family where everyone pitches in on a daily basis. It is interesting to note that each member of the team is capable of doing everything that needs to be done at the Raw Bar to serve customers. So the support system is really a fine-tuned machine.
Although the Raw Bar opens for lunch at 11 a.m., the preparation for the day begins much earlier. Barry and the prep team assemble the stations with cut tomatoes, onions, limes, lemons, and sauces. Barry deveins and cooks the shrimp. The famous gazpacho and the ceviche are prepared and all is readied for the busy crowds that wait in line for a favorite meal.
A Drive By
Now we have a different kind of Raw Bar where takeout reigns supreme. The team is there, but they are behind the scenes. They are serving about 200 meals a day. Most are picked up by Members on their golf carts taking the opportunity to take a ride through the Fishing Village. Barry shared that the Raw Bar has three of the staff on telephones and iPads to take your order by calling 305-367-5818 or online at email@example.com. He actually would like Members to call in so they can hear the Daily Specials and give their preferences for how they would like their famous hamburger or fish cooked. Barry explained that the present Raw Bar menu has all of the favorites available including soups, the delicious crab cake, and the blackened dolphin sandwich.
Barry and his team really misses seeing everyone, but is grateful to be able to have the Raw Bar open for business providing hungry Members lunch and dinner. They are all looking forward to us lining up, writing our names on the board again, and enjoying the weekly lobster bake. That will be a time to celebrate together.